dupilumab for atopic dermatitis

New treatment for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, dupilumab, reduces symptoms and increases quality of life.


Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition that can affect children and adults. Moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition that will not likely subside without treatment. Current treatments for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis are generally topical corticosteroids.

Dupilumab is a human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the signaling molecules interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13), which play a role in atopic dermatitis. A recent study has assessed the effectiveness of dupilumab in adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis that were no longer responsive to topical treatments. The trial took place at over 90 study centres across Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Poland, and the USA. Patients were assigned to various groups to assess different dosages and schedules of dupilumab, for a total of 16 weeks.

The study reported favorable outcomes with dupilumab treatment, which resulted in a dose-dependent clinical response in these patients. In addition, significant adverse events were reported in a small percentage of patients treated with dupilumab. Dupilumab treatment resulted in a reduction in severity of atopic dermatitis, with the best result seen when patients were treated with 300mg once per week, or 300mg once every two weeks. Patients’ own quality of life assessments also improved dose-dependently, and was better in most treatment groups compared with placebo. The most frequent side effect reported in the treatment groups was nasopharyngitis.

A study testing dupilumab in children and adolescents is currently recruiting participants at study locations across Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and UK. The aim of the study is to assess the safety and pharmacokinetics of dupilumab in children aged 6-12 years, or adolescents aged 12-18 years, with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, that is not responsive to topical medication.



Thaci, D, Simpson, EL, Beck, LA, Bieber, T, Blauvelt, A, Papp, K, Soong, W, Worm, M, Szepietowski, JC, Sofen, H, Kawashima, M, Wu, R, Weinstein, SP, Graham, NMH, Pirozzi, G, Teper, A, Sutherland, ER, Mastey, V, Stahl, N, Yancopoulos, GD, Ardeleanu, M. “Efficacy and safety of dupilumab in adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis inadequately controlled by topical treatments: a randomised, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging phase 2b trial” Lancet Published Online: 07 October 2015

clinicaltrials.gov A Study to Determine the Safety and Tolerability of Dupilumab (REGN668/SAR231893) in Patients Aged ≥6 to <18 Years With Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)” Available from: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02407756?term=dupilumab&recr=Open&no_unk=Y&rank=5 Last Accessed: October 16, 2015.






Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD


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